Pitino out at Louisville but problem of NCAA remains

Carlos Peterson, Sports Editor

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My father once jokingly told me during the course of a college football game when the topic of sanctions came about that, “If you don’t cheat, you don’t care.” Perhaps the most illuminating and funny way to shed light on what occurred at Louisville is to bring attention to the larger issue as the statement implied. The NCAA is a greaseball of corruption and hypocrisy run by some reprehensible people. Pitino and all that had been created in his time in Louisville, while a bit outrageous, are not totally out of the realm of possibilities. Things such as bringing prostitutes to under age recruits is just part of the sleaze that is college basketball.

The much-maligned Pitino has had his share of scandal. This is only the surface of the things that have been toxic to the sport. The glorified pimping of the sport through the back-alley style of AAU has perpetuated a culture that has damaged the integrity of what college athletics should be. Instead of showcasing their talents to future schools they’re having sketchy men in tracksuits promising them things that more often than not fall through. Thus, the system creates commitment decisions that are run through the interests of AAU coaches who are funded by shoe companies and sponsors.

The vast amounts of money being thrown around to recruit kids as well as getting them to sign with a certain shoe brand reeks of unneeded paternalism and racial coding. The larger issue however is that these are being swept under the rug by an organization that has claimed it’s here to illuminate the purity and privilege of college athletics while allowing the university athletic programs to do business under the table. All while not paying the “student” athlete.

Pitino is an unbelievable basketball mind. He will now be the sacrificial lamb in a crusade to unearth the criminality of college athletics. The hypocrisy and backwards nature of these organizations have run their course. Hopefully we will reach a day when we don’t glorify coaches such as Pitino and stop crucifying kids for selling the gear for money to eat on Friday nights. Perhaps this will create a system that is fair to college athletes.